Welcome back for the third installment of my weekly Colonial Athletic Association football pick-em. Last week I went a solid .500 on the picks, going 3-3 in the six predictions, which brought my yearly win loss total to 6-7. Let’s take a look at this week’s matchups.
In the first preview of my third pick-em, we have the Rhode Island Rams taking on the Stony Brook Seawolves in New York. The Rams are coming off a shootout loss against the Maine Black Bears on their homecoming weekend game. The Black Bears kicked a game winning field goal in the final seconds for the second week in a row. Backup Vito Priore played again for the Rams with starter JaJuan Lawson still battling a knee injury. This was the first conference loss of the year for URI, and only their second on the year.
On the other hand Stony Brook is coming off a big win against an embattled New Hampshire squad who currently resides in the CAA metaphorical basement. Stony Brook on the year so far is 5-2 with a 3-1 conference record. This is a matchup that should be another shootout for Rhode Island in back to back weeks, as URI is third in scoring offense in the conference at 37 points per game, while the Seawolves are fourth in the conference, scoring 29.4 points per game. Look for the Rams to get back on track with a win coming off their first loss in conference play.
Official Prediction: URI:34, Stony Brook:24
In the second preview of the week we have the Richmond Spiders taking on the Elon Phoenix in North Carolina. After a shocking upset of James Madison two weeks ago that made national news on ESPN, the Phoenix followed that performance up with their first conference loss and a disappointing effort against the Delaware Blue Hens. The Phoenix now sit at 4-2 on the year and 2-1 in CAA play. The Spiders are coming off a win on the road this past week, beating the Albany Great Danes in the Empire States’ capital. Richmond now sits at 3-4 on the year, and that win over Albany was their first conference win, moving them to 1-3 in conference play on the year. Elon has had tremendous success running the ball this year, as the Phoenix currently have the best rushing offense in the CAA, averaging over 200 yards of rushing per game. Richmond’s rushing defense for comparison, is in the bottom half of the CAA, and allows an average of 147 rushing yards per game. Look for the Phoenix to exploit this matchup.
Official Prediction: Elon:28, Richmond:14
In the next matchup of the week the Towson Tigers take on the Albany Great Danes in Albany. Towson is coming off a convincing 29-13 win over the Tribe of William and Mary. The Tigers now sit at number one in the conference, with a 5-1 overall record and are 3-0 in conference. On the other side it has been a tough season for a usually good Albany program. The Danes are currently 2-4 on the year and 0-3 in CAA play. Albany is coming off a tough loss to the Richmond Spiders, losing at home by a score of 27-24. Towson this year has a brand of football synonymous with that of a Big 12 school. The Tigers are second in scoring offense in the CAA behind only James Madison with a scoring average of 37.7 points per game. The Tigers also lead the conference in total offense, averaging 473.7 yards per game.
Albany on the other hand, has struggled putting points on the board, sitting at ninth in the conference in scoring offense. The Danes have also struggled to stop their opponents from scoring, allowing 30.8 points per game to their opponents. The Tigers will be just too much for the Danes to handle.
Official Prediction: Towson:42, Albany:20
In the fourth CAA matchup of the week, the Maine Black Bears take on the William and Mary Tribe. The Black Bears are coming off a huge victory over Rhode Island, beating the Rams on a game winning field goal for the second straight week, winning 38-36. Maine now sits at 4-2 on the year and is 3-0 in conference. William and Mary is coming off a loss to Towson this past week, and now are 2-4 on the year, and 1-2 in conference. Maine’s success this year has a direct correlation to their defense. The Black Bears currently have the second best total defense in the CAA behind only JMU, and are only allowing 267.7 yards per game. William and Mary on the other hand has had a tough year on both sides of the ball. The Tribe are currently ranked second to last in total offense in the conference, and their total defense rank is dead last, as they allow over 400 yards of offense a game.
Official Prediction: Maine:31, William and Mary:7
The Final CAA matchup of the week is the Delaware Blue Hens taking on the New Hampshire Wildcats in Durham, New Hampshire. Delaware is coming off a surprise upset over Elon, beating the Phoenix 28-16 in front of their home crowd. The Blue Hens now are 4-2 on the year, and 2-1 in conference play. New Hampshire’s season has been an uphill struggle from the get go for the Wildcats. UNH is currently 1-5 on the year, and has yet to win in conference. The Wildcats are currently dead last in the CAA in total offense. They are averaging 258.8 yards per game, and have only scored eight touchdowns on the season. Delaware has a top five scoring offense in the conference, averaging 27.3 points per game. The Blue Hens also have the second best scoring defense in the conference, only allowing an average of 18.8 points per game.
Official Prediction: Delaware: 27, UNH:6